FOUNT Global’s SaaS Platform Fights Workplace Friction

FOUNT Global’s SaaS Platform Fights Workplace Friction

The News: FOUNT Global has introduced its software as a service (SaaS) platform that is designed to identify work friction points and prioritize the areas of focus that will be most impactful. The platform also has capabilities for benchmarking, scalability, workflows, and templates. More information on the FOUNT platform can be found in the press release on the FOUNT Global website.

Additionally, FOUNT released results of its 2023 Work Friction Survey, which shows a gap between how business leaders and employees view work friction. Further information on the survey results is available on the FOUNT Global website.

FOUNT Global’s SaaS Platform Fights Workplace Friction

Analyst Take: Friction is a favorite term among experience focused practitioners and researchers, and for good reason. It is often these everyday points of irritation and inefficiency that add up to lower employee engagement scores and potential employee attrition. However, often these work friction points remain undiscovered, even with employee feedback or voice of the employee programs in place.

FOUNT was founded in 2022 as a spinout of the employee experience consultancy TI People. The company has headquarters in Washington, DC, and offices in London and Hamburg. The company is backed by Lavrock Ventures, Osage Venture Partners, and Grotech Ventures and has a host of customers such as Adidas, Pfizer, Pepsi, and UnitedHealth Group.

Both cofounders have personal background in human resources (HR) transformation, and the genesis of FOUNT came from the goal of wanting to provide more value and measurability to employee experience (EX) and bring visibility to HR leaders into what was going well and what was not.

I was recently able to chat with FOUNT Cofounder and CEO Christophe Martel and Cofounder Volker Jacobs and to learn more about the FOUNT platform and the push/pull between employees who want a great work experience and companies who want productivity and growth.

“Work friction, especially in large organization is everywhere. We view friction as something that is in between two worlds that are sometimes disconnected. So, in the world of employees, people want to have a great experience at work. They may want a larger voice in issues such as how they work and from where. For companies, they are constantly on the search for new productivity gains and they often don’t have a great view into the way employees perceive their experience, across their work moments. Perhaps they can pick up on an issue, but they can’t really get to the root cause,” said Jacobs. “That’s the areas we are focusing in on, really giving visibility into where friction sits, how big of a problem is it and how can it be influenced and impacted.”

In the recently released FOUNT Work Friction Survey, several interesting (and concerning) data points came to light:

  • Work friction has an enormous effect on employee well-being, with 95% reporting its negative impact. Thirty-seven percent of employees have admitted that work friction makes them feel so bad that they want to take days off or even quit their jobs.
  • Sixty-eight percent of employees reported work friction makes them feel bad either because of its negative impact on their personal productivity or because it negatively affects CX.
  • Eighty-percent of work friction occurs in employees’ day-to-day work versus HR managed services such as career advancement, training, or taking leave.

FOUNT Focuses on Moment Centricity

Moment centricity is core to the FOUNT platform, which currently has five modules: Configure and Manage, Identify, Equip, Measure, and Broadcast Results.

FOUNT Global’s SaaS Platform Fights Workplace Friction
Image Source: FOUNT Global

Companies might have a hypothesis about an issue that might come from an engagement survey. These are typically bigger themes such as career opportunities or perhaps an issue with onboarding, where they know there is an issue, but do not know what is causing it.

To unearth more specific points of friction, companies can use short, targeted surveys to small populations. They are typically under 3 minutes for survey response effort, and FOUNT can start to get statistically valid data sets with approximately 53 responses. Insights are directed specifically to the action takers, which could be business leaders in combination with HR and IT. It is not just a list of problems that are identified, though, there is also identification of the largest issues, which if addressed, will have the biggest impact. These impact points become visible via an analysis of which moments are driving friction.

Once recommended actions are in the loop, the platform can then measure the impact of those actions and the insights can be leveraged within management information systems and the objectives and key results (OKRs) of the organization. The last module, Broadcast, is where the success stories are fed in and communication teams within an organization help to spread the word of the results and successes. This last piece is so important, and it is a piece that many companies simply are not good at – a solid feedback loop closure.

FOUNT Platform in Action

Martel and Jacobs shared case studies that demonstrated the process the solution supports and the successes. FOUNT worked with an F50 health insurance company that had very high attrition rates, over 30% after 6 months, in their calls centers.

Said Jacobs, “It’s not that they didn’t know a problem existed and it wasn’t for lack of effort. HR and IT put over forty workstreams in place over two years, and the issue still wasn’t solved. The numbers didn’t move.”

FOUNT did a 6-month proof of concept with the organization, and within 6 months, two of the five business units had a 12% point improvement in 6-month attrition. At 14 months, the platform showed an impact across the organization. The company was able to identify 17 friction moments, many of which were not related to the initial hypotheses the company had.

FOUNT Global’s SaaS Platform Fights Workplace Friction
Image Source: FOUNT Global

“The big differentiator for our solution is that it provides a real sharpness and specific granularity of what exactly the problem is that needs to be solved. Only that piece of data can really enable a company to take fast, targeted action,” said Martel. “And the big story here, and it’s what many companies are trying to do in the employee experience space, is the quantification of these points of friction as proof points for further investment.”

I have written a lot about how the employee journey is not just the big touchstone moments in a career but also a series of smaller, micro moments that add up to positive or negative EX. Solutions that can help really drill down into what issues arise during those moments will help companies push their EX strategies forward, providing a better environment for employees, and in turn, often a better experience for customers.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

15Five Launches HR Outcomes Dashboard

New Employee Experience Research from Qualtrics

Genesys Launches the Experience Index for Contact Center Employees

Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.


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